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Slogan-chanting, weapon-carrying mob used Hanuman Jayanti to threaten peace

Counterview Desk 

Calling for intensified efforts to combat hate and majoritarianism and restore communal harmony, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said that the BJP governments from Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh were using bulldozers in a “very deliberate and planned attempt to use the excuse of illegal encroachment to target and destroy Muslim owned properties.”
In a statement, it demanded, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and local authorities in other states “must stop terrorizing Muslims on the ruling party’s orders”, insisting, the Supreme Court “must ensure immediate compensation and rehabilitation for all demolished homes and structures.”

Text:

22 April 2022: Over the past few days we have once again witnessed people’s lives and livelihoods razed to the ground in Jahangirpuri. In spite of the Supreme Court’s Stay Order, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) bulldozers continued to demolish homes and shops. Carts and other means of livelihood were destroyed in what they called an ‘anti-encroachment drive’ that in effect targeted the local working-class Muslim community.
This came only days after communal violence in the same area on Hanuman Jayanti, a clear pretext for slogan-chanting, weapon-carrying mobs of the 'Shobha Yatra', to mobilize and threaten peace and communal harmony. The pattern is not unique to Jahangirpuri, as the increasing number of similar incidents in UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa etc. bear witness.
On April 10th, there was communal violence in Khargone and Sendhwa districts of Madhya Pradesh and the next day as many as 16 houses and 29 shops were demolished. In Khambhat in Gujarat, the administration brought in bulldozers after alleging that a 'Muslim dominated neighbourhood pelted stones at a Ram Navami procession'. At virtually all places, Muslims have disproportionately been at the receiving end.
Over the past few days, we have seen a very deliberate and planned attempt by the government to use the excuse of illegal encroachment to target and destroy Muslim owned properties. Several statements by State administration and ministers have commented on how the demolitions are a way of 'punishing rioters' while the legal reasoning is given as the demolition of illegal encroachments.
As people’s movements and members of civil society, we must come together against the bulldozing of the constitutional rights of the Muslim community on orders of the ruling party and demand that local authorities stop terrorizing Muslims on BJP's orders and uphold peace and communal harmony.
We demand:
  • Government must uphold its constitution obligation to maintain peace, communal harmony, safety and security of all citizens, especially the Muslim minorities.
  • The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and local authorities in other states must stop terrorizing Muslims on the ruling party’s orders.
  • Supreme Court must ensure immediate compensation and rehabilitation for all demolished homes and structures.
  • Government must initiate legal action against the actual culprits and not the victims of violence.

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